Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

ख़ुद को ख़ुद की

ख़ुद को ख़ुद की गिरहों से आज़ाद किया
आज हमने भी ख़ुद को आबाद किया

क़फ़स ए ज़माने से रिहा कर ही दिया
और कुछ यूं ख़ुद को बर्बाद किया

जब कभी चस्म ए नम हुई महफ़िल ए तन्हाई
ख़ुदा ने नेमतों से अपनी बज़्म शाद किया

सफ़र में जब भी दिन ढला जब भी रात हुई
आयते सब्र ओ तवक्कुल को हम ने याद किया

आपकी रहमतें हम पर रही सदा या रब
हर तूफां को आप ने रूहानी बाद किया

خود کو خود کی گرہوں سے آزاد کِیا
آج ہمنے بھی خود کو آباد کِیا

قفس زمانے سے رِہا کر ہی دِیا
اور کُپھ یوں خود کو برباد کِیا

جب کبھی چشم نم ہوئی محفِل تنہائی
خُدا نے نعمتوں سے اپنی بزم شاد کیا

سفر میں جب بھی دِن ڈھلا جب بھی رات ہوئی
آیتیں صبرو توکُّل کو ہم نے یاد کیا

آپکی رحمتیں ہم پر رہیں سدا یا رب
ہر طوفاں کو آپ نے روحانی بات کیا

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

Besides An Old

Besides an old grave,
A woman is often seen.
Her cries are not heard,
But ever since her eyes have been
Swollen red.

Wrapped in grief smeared white,
She to dark alleys escapes.
Her skin is a tattered wound.
Rusty patches she scrapes,
Blood spills.

A black band round her throat,
Slits her slowly, tightly chokes.
Words wrangle her letter by letter,
She to swallow the poisonous pukes
Is forced.

O Woman O Woman
Since ages you are painted such.
A silent pale puppet,
Who screams but rebels.
Burdened with an ideal mould
In which your desires not fit.
The grave of your dreams you carry
In your hearts,
Where you too forget to visit.
The inscriptions of your fathers and sons
You are made to carry by throat,
But forget they that God the most high
Has equal mercy on you bestowed.

O Woman O Woman
Walk to the graveyard,
Move the lid, dig out
All those dreams you buried,
deep down.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

Walls Are Sans

Walls are sans inscriptions,
But bolted doors sing
A song,
I do not know.
Come, come here
And hear,
Press against these walls
Your ear.
What do they say?
What do they sing?
What language is it?
Is it the wind or a baby
Learning to speak
Or some women?
But women, they do not sing.
I saw a woman once,
At the crossroads
She was rubbing, rubbing hard
The letters from her body.
The cloth was black with ink,
But her body was spilling out more,
More and more and more.
A wall not sans inscriptions,
But one without the song.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

Sky Is Still

Sky is still.
Clouds of variegated colours,
Spilled over the vast sheet.
Sun is set
And a crescent line
Moves with me.
A bright star glued
To it, carries it ahead.
The moon and the star
On the tip of my
Finger settle perfectly.
Not many birds are chirping now.
They were, few moments ago,
Chirping loudly, flying,
But now are silent.
The night is approaching
With quick steps.
In no time it will be here
Or perhaps it has arrived already.
I heard that cities are burning.
The blood flows but not in veins
And beats but the heart.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

The Street Light

The street light flickers,
Yellow black yellow black …
The still pattern moves on
And with it, around it,
Flies and insects
Battering again and again against
The flickering lamp.
The glass; they curse it,
For it is a hurdle, a screen.

A little girl watches
From her window,
The flickering light,
Yellow black yellow black …

A young woman takes timid steps,
Afraid of the dark and night,
Gets more frightened
When someone passes by.
A dog is barking.
She tries to revise in mind
All in defence class, she had learnt,
But the tongue instead, prays.
She finds some relief in
The dog’s bark.
She smiles, he wags his tail.
The light flickers, flickers …
The dog suddenly howls,
Perhaps, is kicked.

The little girl shuts the window
And runs to her mother

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Published Works

Cot, Cups And Chair

Published in LiveWire

… At night, she heard her cousins,
Of someone they were making fun.
One boy from them mistakenly
Had touched some Shudra’s feet.
The accused little boy was sobbing,
Refusing that such he not did …

Read here

Poetry (Hindi-Urdu)

नफ़रत के सभी

नफ़रत के सभी फूल बे-मौसम ही झड़ गए
मुनफ़िक़ों के आशियाने बस कर भी उजड़ गए

हक़ बात सुनकर जो मुंह मोड़ लेते थे
सतून उनके घरों के एक-एक कर उखड़ गए

हमने तो बस ज़िक्र-ए-हश्र किया था
न जाने उनके मिज़ाज क्यों बिगड़ गए

नेमतें ख़ुदा से इतनी मिली
कि गिनने बैठे तो तारे कम पड़ गए

نفرت کے سبھی پھول بے موسم ہی جھڑ گئے
منفقوں کے آشیانے بس کر بھی اجڑ گئے

حق بات سنکر جو منہ موڑ لیتے تھے
ستون انکے گھروں کے ایک ایک کر اکھڑ گئے

ہمنے تو بس ذکرے حشر کیا تھا
نا جانے انکے مزاج کیوں بگڑ گئے

نعتیں خدا سے اتنی ملی
کی گننے بیٹھے تو تارے کم پڑ گ

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Short Prose


She moved ahead slowly, taking a step or two carefully, lest she would frighten the squirrels and they will run away. Only if she could get a little closer, but the path was covered with dry leaves. She liked it not to crush them under her feet. That voice! How can she inflict such pain on the little leaves. Dry leaves, they always attract her. While strolling here and there, in the morning, noon and evenings or even while going to or returning from somewhere, she has this habit of picking up fallen dry leaves. She would pick them up, move her fingers slowly over the patterns on the lamina, feeling it, absorbing it and then put it down carefully at the foot of some big tree. Dry leaves. Fallen dry leaves. How beautiful they are. Once lush green, they danced with the winds, rustling, swaying. Sequined with pearls, adorned with flowers, they floated high, like a queen, in the air. Now, on the ground, slimed with mud, dried and withered, they are crushed, while someone negligently steps on them to praise some newly formed bud. She hunched down, sat in the little clearing and picked up a red leaf. Her fingers were tossing it over, making random lines and circles on it, while she herself was drowning in the deep circles of memories, dark impressions which had wilted her, withered her.

She hunched down, sat in the little clearing and picked up a red leaf. She could hear them, calling her, searching her. And here she was hiding in this little clearing in the mid of these thorny bushes. She sat quietly trying to suppress her giggles, when anyone of them passed from there. There were many leaves and little wild flowers. She started playing with them, forgetting entirely that she was playing something else, while the rest of the children too forgot her, young as they were, as soon as some movie began. Her little fingers carefully picked up the yellow and red flowers from the ground and tried to fix them in the braid. She would adorn herself and would surprise everyone. With the red and yellow flowers against her swarthy skin and olive green frock she looked heavenly. Carefully she emerged out from the hiding, running zealously towards the home, excited as she was, to surprise them all. The afternoon road was quiet and sun had enveloped everything in a lazy heat. As a ripple breaks out in silent waters, she ran with little steps. Redness sprouted its branches on her angelic visage. She was a bud, half opened, about to bloom into a full flower. But suddenly the sun drowned in the darkest of waters, the yellow and red flowers fumed into black ashes, the gleam of her eyes got lost in some ghoulish hollow. The petals shattered, the bud would never bloom. Covered in olive green tatters, she crawled to reach her home, blood dripping down from between her thighs, leaving behind traces, traces of …

A tear drop fell on the little red leaf, and settled on the dry surface like a glistening pearl. A squirrel which had came very slowly near her, finding her perfectly still and lost, and was about to snatch the leaf from her hands, at the fall of the tear, got really frightened and in no time ran away from there. The hasty movements of the squirrel forced her to laugh, but the laughter only deepened her pain. The fear of the squirrel reminded her more intensely of the black day and a sudden outburst of tears wrapped her. She sobbed and cried, tears flowed freely, endlessly, but at the same time she felt a strange lightness. Something which she had not felt since. The tears had washed the little red leaf, it was dry still, but was dazzling brightly under the sun.

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

Soraya Sing A Song

Soraya sing a song,
The world is bleak and dark and dim.
Soraya sing a song.

From this path, I walk on thrice,
Early morning, noon, late night,
I see you sitting alone,
In your thatched lonely home.
Your little face, at the window
Your father last summer mended,
Looks now so dry so pale so dull.
The wind not flows in your direction
Yet the dust reaches your eye,
For I see them so swollen red.
The window will break any day,
Door too needs some nails and paint.
Soraya O Soraya
Who will mend your little roof
This summer, my little kid?
For I heard in whispering voices,
Your father died in detention camp.
My old eyes had witnessed him walking,
With toddler feet on the land you walk.
Late Ali had called his wife for help, When your grandma’s water had broke.
But the ravenous water took
Away the parchments of his freedom.

Soraya O Soraya
The wrath of water gulped in such
Many many lives.
Silence its anger Soraya
With your sweet voice.
Soraya sing a song.

I see each day tears
In your smoke filled eyes,
When you struggle while making bread,
When you wrestle for your life.
The task is too big oh girl
For your little tender hands.
So many months have passed
Soraya not returned your Ammijaan.
At the outskirts of city
Where your mother worked as labourer,
On an old wrecked tree
On its crumbling branches
Her veil her clothes are seen swaying,
At nights her cries are heard.
Some say her body was preyed on
By human vultures.

Soraya O Soraya
These vultures these wolves,
No! these humans in heinous flesh,
Pollute each second innocent birds.
Their thirsty laughs kill such many
Tormented cries.
Soraya externalise their pain
In heart wrenching notes high.
Soraya sing a song.

This winter you will turn Soraya
Into an angel of seven.
In a lonely house crumbling down,
With ration at its end,
Minimal clothes tattered threaded
Somehow cover your pale skin.
The four walls breathing it’s last,
Soraya sadly mirror your breaths.
The quite trees bare branch,
Soraya reflect your silence.
The whole village whole world,
Soraya is wrapped in this sadness.
Not many days are left now
The flame will any night burn out.

Soraya O Soraya
Before the last night comes,
Before the dark veil falls down,
To millions of Sorayas,
Send some hope, a souvenir.
Soraya sing a song

© Muntazir
Picture Credit

Poetry (English)

Saffron Masks

Your masks are falling down.
The paint is peeling off.
The saffron colour you used to hide
Your hideous inhuman desires
Behold is turning red,
Revealing your sick grim face
Smeared stained bespattered
With millions’ innocent blood.

Babies wrapped in white cloth
Beneath the palm trees,
Under your feet you crush them
Oh so mercilessly.
You swim in pools of blood.
How will you rinse it off your hands?
Oh butcherers of humanity
What is your vaulting ambition?

Smoke has filled the gardens,
Bodies float in black streams.
Random lines on a piece of paper
Daily change our identities.
Who are the purple hands to
Decide our name our place our fate?
Don’t you try to suppress us,
We stand together against you oh hypocrites.

© Muntazzir
Picture Credit